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Tuesday, 23 February 2010

New Things

Those of you who have read this blog from the beginning will know that I have been praying for Jen who has relocated to Australia (Jen of the "stopovers" entry) and Braam. Braam's relocation wasn't to another country. He moved from Canary Wharf to another investment firm just outside London...but it might have been thousands of miles away for the cultural change he has experienced.

Abraham (or Braam to his friends) has moved from an American work culture to a British work culture, which has brought some insights to this South African. He is becoming quite a "work-culture translator." When you read my book, "Parents on the Move," (out this March 2010 from Destiny Image Europe) you will see what a vital resource it is to have a cultural translator on staff. This is not a language translator, but someone who is able to see cultural differences in the workplace and assist others with making a transition from one approach to another.

While Braam hasn't done a lot of work-culture switching, he seems to have found two main differences in the American investment company he recenly left, and his new job at a British investment company. " Neither is right or wrong," he hastens to add, "they are simply the cultural values that define the way a company works."

For example, in the American work culture that he experienced, he found a core value of respect for every employee regardless of where you are in the company. If someone had an idea, it was at least listened to, even if everyone wanted to help you refine that idea! In the British company where he is now working, the culture seems to value listening to employees with the most experience, qualifications or higher position on the corporate heirarchy. " They are shown the most respect," says Braam who is happy that he is one of those who is shown considerable respect.

The second major cultural difference between his American and British work-culture experiences is that in the American work culture he was given scope for doing things the way he would like to do them (as long as he met dealines and goals etc), but in the British work-culture he has been told that there is a tradition in the company for "how things are done."

"I'm quite happy, but it's good to know which work culture works for you, before you accept a new job!" says Braam.

Some one else who is starting something new is Maryanne ...check out her blog and nourish your spirit with some lovely art.

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